This interview was conducted with Moza Al-Bader about the history of Qatar. The interviewee discussed her educational journey in the past. Moreover, she talked about the Qatari food and the meals that were served in the past. She also gave some tips on how to preserve food such as fish and meat.
Interviewer: Aisha Alkuwari
Interviewee: Mouza Albader (Umm Khalaf)
Interviewer : can you tell us about yourself?
Interviewee : My name is Mouza Mohammad Rashid Albader, I was born in 1952, in East Alhitmi neighborhood. I was born at home as we didn’t have hospitals back in 1952. My mother delivered me at the backyard of our house, and they named me Mouza after my great grandmother. My father worked as pearl diver but when pearl diving winded down, he worked at Mesaieed and Dukhan .
Interviewer : Can you describe how your house looked like at that time ?
Interviewee: My grandfather, Rashid Bin Yousef’s house was big, but it was divided. You see, one part was for my uncle Hassan, and another for my uncle Nasser. Also a part was for uncle Yousef and a part for my aunt Asma when she visits from Al Khuraitiat (Neighborhood in Doha) . My father also had his small share of the house. The house consisted of two bedrooms, built from rocks and mud , ceiled by Danchel, mangaroon and bamboo (types of wood), with two windows in it. Also a small backyard, kitchen and two bathrooms, that is how our houses looked like back in the old days, they were small. We also had a Lasura tree in our backyard. We used to sleep on the flat roof in the summer days. Our house was humble but thank god it was filled with our nice family. There was a small room which we always decorate for Eid and special occasions.
There was a well at my grandfather’s big house from which we used to take the water from for cleaning and showering.
Interviewer: How was your education journey?
Interviewee: At first as youngsters we used to learn Quran through “Almotawa” (Religious muslim) , her name was Shreefa “Umm Saleh”. Everyday , before noon , our parents would take us to her house, she teaches us Quran and Islamic principles. Afterwards , when schools were built , some of our families were against letting us enter. However, other families weren’t, but the government encouraged us by providing salaries, school uniforms, lunch and other school stationery, all free of charge. There were two main schools at that time, Khawla School for Girls and AlKhansa School for Boys, both were primary schools. We only had one school bus in our neighborhood, I used to run towards it along with the girls of the neighborhood to get into it. After completing primary school, I went to Qatar Secondary School, completing all three secondary years, after that I completed my high school years in Qatar High School. I loved school and learning, I graduated and got my “ Dar Almoalmat “ (Teaching) diploma.
Interviewer : what were your favorite subjects?
Interviewee: my favorites were Arabic and Math. As for Social Studies I didn’t have to study for its exams; Because I didn’t enjoy it but I managed to pass those classes.
Interviewer : Do you remember your school friends ?
Interviewee: Yes of course I remember them, My best friend was Haleema Abdulkareem, I also remember Hamda Alsuwaidi, Haleema Almulla and my cousin Ameena Nasser .
Interviewer : What did you do during your lunch breaks?
Interviewee: We had three classes then a lunch break, after that three more classes and then we went home. We used to eat at the school cafeteria which had, Falafel , Zaater (Middle Eastern herbs) and Meat sandwiches. The food was cheap, we only had to pay half Riyal and a quarter for the drinks. Once the bell rings we run racing towards the cafeteria, buying the food and gathering to sit and eat underneath the trees .
Interviewer : Describe your typical Qatari meals.
Interviewee : Back then, we used to raise our livestock at home . For breakfast, at dawn my father passes by the baker and buys us Iranian bread, Also some Bajleh and Nekhi (cooked legumes). Also my siblings and I help my mother in collecting eggs from our chickens , and my mother milks the cattle and cooks them. She also makes us sweet polenta, Balaleet and Luqaimat (Traditional sweets) with arabic coffee and tea. For lunch, as you know, we used to live by the sea so we used to have seafood most of the time. We used to have plain rice or mohamar (sweet rice) with fish sauce and fried fish, we all used to gather and eat together as a family.
Interviewer : What was your favorite dish?
Interviewee : I loved to eat plain rice with fish sauce.
Interviewer : how did you preserve fish and meat?
Interviewee: At summer, we cut open the fish, salt it and hang it. For meat, we take a jar full of oil and stuff the meat in the jar with salt and store it. when we want to prepare it, we wash it, clean it and then cook it. Thank god for the simple life we had.